A recent Cancer Risk Awareness Survey found that a significant number of American believe they have no power in preventing cancer. However, factors that are out of their control – like genetics and family history – account for less than 20% of all cancers.
The survey was released by the American Institute for Cancer Research earlier this month. 17% of participants believed that there was nothing they could do to reduce their risk of getting cancer.
Researchers also found that about 80% of respondents were unaware that genetics’ impact on their cancer risk paled in comparison to poor diet and lack of exercise.
Respondents were also concerned about food additives, genetically modified foods, stress and hormones in beef as key causes of cancer. However, research does not support that those are key factors in the development of cancer.
The American Institute for Cancer Research wants Americans to learn more about the factors that they can and do control on a daily basis.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death worldwide. It usually involves abnormal cell growth that spreads throughout the body, eventually crippling and killing the afflicted.
Although death rates have recently been on the decline, it still poses a significant threat among smokers, the obese and those with poor diets. The number of Americans who know about the benefits of diets high in fruits and vegetables have declined by 10% since 2009. More than half of Americans are still unaware about the link between alcohol and cancer.
The recent articles about cancer and “bad luck” further complicate educating at-risk Americans to make lifestyle changes.
The knowledge of at least acknowledgement that lifestyle choices matter in reducing cancer risk can do wonders for so many Americans. According to the American Cancer Research Institute, nearly 1/3 of the most common cancers in the United States could be prevented if Americans exercised more, weighed less and made healthier lifestyle choices.